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Neighbors, Friends & Allies: North American Cooperation & the Roles of States


Friday, Oct. 21, 12:15-1:30 p.m.


Neighbors, friends and allies, the U.S., Canada and Mexico share boundaries, a history and core values.  But unintended consequences from well-intended initiatives can create havoc on the international diplomatic stage.  In this session, panelists will discuss the delicate art of diplomacy and learn what state decision-makers can do to support and strengthen the trilateral relationship.


Gov. Brian Schweitzer
2011 CSG President
Full bio>>






Ambassador Gary Doer
Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America
Full bio>>








Ambassador David Jacobson
United States Ambassador to Canada
Full bio>>







Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan
Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Full bio>>







Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, 2011 CSG President
A Montana farmer and rancher, Schweitzer's business and agricultural experience is broad and deep, including extensive farming and ranching experience in Montana, and successful agricultural business projects on five continents.

After graduation from Montana State, Schweitzer and his wife Nancy began a career of irrigation development that took them to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. He has built hundreds of miles of roads, poured thousands of yards of concrete, buried many miles of pipe, and built hundreds of structures, from houses to warehouses to distillation plants. During seven years in Saudi Arabia, Brian developed over 28,000 acres of irrigated cropland.
But when it was time to raise a family, Schweitzer and Nancy returned home to Montana in 1986, and began building a ranching and irrigation business in Montana. 

In 1993,Schweitzer was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Montana State USDA Farm Service Agency committee. He served for seven years with the FSA, and his three-person committee was responsible for the operation of 46 county offices, 300 employees and a budget of more than $300 million. He resigned in 1999 to run for U.S. Senate.
Schweitzer's life experiences are broad and diverse. He has learned to fly his own plane, obtained a Montana Boiler’s license, has communicated in several languages and has a chemical applicator’s license.
On November 2, 2004 Brian was elected as Montana's first democratic governor since 1988. Brian Schweitzer became the 23rd Governor of the great state of Montana on January 3, 2005. 




Ambassador Gary Doer
In October 2009, Gary Doer assumed his responsibilities as Canada's 23rd representative to the United States of America.

Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Ambassador Doer served as premier of Manitoba for 10 years. During that time, he worked extensively with U.S. governors to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy.

Ambassador Doer won three consecutive elections as premier of Manitoba with successive increased majorities. In 2005, he was named by Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during each of his 10 years in office while reducing many taxes, including a plan to eliminate small business tax. As premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education, and training and infrastructure.


Ambassador David Jacobson
David Jacobson was sworn in at the State Department in Washington, D.C. as U.S. Ambassador to Canada on September 25, 2009, and presented his credentials to the governor general of Canada on October 2, 2009. Most recently, Ambassador Jacobson served as special assistant to the president for presidential personnel.

Before serving in the White House, he spent 30 years gaining expertise in the areas of complex commercial, class action, securities, insurance and business litigation as a partner at the law firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP. While working as a partner at Sonnenschein, Ambassador Jacobson also founded AtomWorks, an organization to bring together corporate, civic and academic leaders in order to foster nanotechnology in the Midwest.

He also served as a member of CEOs for Cities, a national bipartisan alliance of 75 mayors, corporate executives, university presidents and nonprofit leaders organized to advance the economic competitiveness of cities.

Ambassador Jacobson received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and was the administrative editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. He received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan
The grandson of refugees in Mexico, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is a career diplomat. He was deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American Affairs and was posted in 1993 to the Mexican Embassy in the United States where he first served as chief of staff to the ambassador, and then as head of the counternarcotics office. In 2000 he became chief of policy planning at the Foreign Ministry and was appointed by the president as mexican consul general to New York City in 2003. He resigned from this post and took a leave of absence from the Foreign Service in 2006 to join the presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón as foreign policy advisor and international spokesperson, and became coordinator for foreign affairs in the transition team. In November 2006 he received the rank of ambassador, and in February 2007 was appointed mexican ambassador to the United States.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Sarukhan played a key role in the non-governmental Bilateral Commission on the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations as the executive director of this civil society initiative.

Ambassador Sarukhan is active in various organizations such as the Mexican Council on Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Policy Association and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London; is a board member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and is also a part of the Executive Council on Diplomacy Ambassadors Advisory Board. He has taught in various universities and published articles on issues related to foreign policy in a variety of journals and magazines. He holds a BA in International Relations from El Colegio de México and an MA in U.S. Foreign Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow. He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden. Ambassador Sarukhan is married and has two young daughters.